June 23, 2020 2 min read
One of the greatest things about having a small dog is that you can take them almost anywhere and include them in your travel plans, as long as you train them to relax and calmly in their travel bag.
To get started, it's always best to do with a puppy that's very open-minded but, even if you have an adult dog, there are exercises and things that you can do to happily enjoy their travel bag.
First, you just have the travel bag kind of hanging out in your house, mainly where the dog bed is. And you can randomly throw little treats in the bag so that your dog investigates the travel bag on her own and when they look in there, there's a yummy treat available. So they start checking out the bag on their own quite a bit.
When they are tired and might typically be resting on your lap or at your feet, you can encourage them to go into the bag to sleep instead.
If you can be patient, it's best not to push your dog into the bag, let them make that decision to get on in there. It's worth the time to be patient. No dog wants to be squashed and pushed around.
When your dog seems to be migrating to its bag and enjoying spending time there on its own without you asking, you can start actually train your dog to go into the back.
Drop some treats down on the ground to encourage him to actually lay down. Let him get used to the idea of the flat being closed. When he accepts this, be very careful not to squash him physically. Do not make him feel uncomfortable with going into the bag and making sure you don't step up his hair.
Also, give him a little chew toy. In this way, he has something to do in there. And once you practice having your dog rest comfortably in the bag and you built up some duration, you might even nap there.
You are ready to go on the road, take your dog on little adventures like errands, tab writes... anything that simulates travel.
Make sure you don't always have the bag on your shoulder or in your lap, if you want him to get used to sitting at your feet, that is where they're going to be when they go on an airplane.
When the final day comes, and you're ready to take your trip, your dog will be prepared to do that too.
Just think about making sure they're tired out, so they rest comfortably in their bag and don't feed them any large meals or lots of water before they get on the flight. That way, they will stay more comfortably in their bed until they reach their final destination. It takes a little bit of work, but it's well worth it.
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